Question: "Which features overcomplicate Swift? What should be removed?"
I really can’t think of anything! This is a tough question…
See, Objective-C first had quirky memory management. It was overly expressive, method names were just too long. Blocks sort-of worked, but they weren’t real closures. There wasn’t a lot of safety built in, and I don’t regard it as a productive, fun to work with, language. Regardless, it got the job done.
Then, Swift came along.
Here’s what I like about Swift:
- Optionals. Tricky at first, I thought: can’t we just leave all the !’s and ?’s and just get back to check if a variable is nil? Then, I realized optionals make your code stronger, by checking at compile-time whether a variable is not empty and usable.
- Closures. Great for throwing in code that’s not part of your code structure.
- Generics. Sort-of closures turned inside-out, writing code that has a specific goal or intent regardless of what types you put in.
- Optional chaining. How many times did I write numerous if-statements to dig into a JSON structure to find out whether a variable existed? Not anymore!
Then, Swift is expressive and concise, which makes it easier to pick up for beginner developers. The language grows with you as you learn, and has plenty of fun stuff for advanced developers. And code doesn’t need to be rewritten from ObjC to Swift, thanks to the bridging headers, any library out there is usable in a Swift project.
One point of critique? Well, the compiler tends to get slow on bigger projects, especially when you do compiler-heavy stuff like type inference. And, random Xcode crashes occur from time to time. But on Swift itself? Nope.
I think Swift was made to alleviate the overcomplication of Objective-C, and to give app developers a language that’s not invented in 1983.
Join 11.000+ app developers and marketers
- Get a weekly curated list of app development tools, articles and resources in your inbox
- 10x your app installs with relevant App Store Optimization and app marketing strategies
- BONUS: Grab a free copy of the App Toolbox 2017 to supercharge your next app project
Most Popular Content
Got a killer app idea?
Grab the App Toolbox 2017 to learn how to save time building your app,
and how to 10x your app installs in the App Store. With the toolbox, you'll immediately know how to move forward to build better, more profitable apps.
Get The App Toolbox
and how to 10x your app installs in the App Store. With the toolbox, you'll immediately know how to move forward to build better, more profitable apps. Get The App Toolbox
Comments & Thoughts
On The Blog
App Success: Alexander and Maarten And Their App "Assessments 4 Students"
Last week I interviewed Alexander Cornelis and Maarten Koornstra. Together they made “Assessments 4 Students”, an app for iOS and Android that helps studens practicing assessments (similar to exam questions), to get hired at a company.
[MEGA POST] Best of Quora: Building Better, More Profitable Apps With Swift, App Store Optimization & Growth Hacking
"He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever." Make sure you're no one's fool by learning from the questions of others in this MEGA Best of Quora blog post.
Case Study: Building A Compelling App Landing Page
You’ve made your first app, it’s in the App Store and you’ve built an app landing page for it. Business isn’t booming just yet, but you’ve made a compelling roadmap for the coming months: features that will wow your users. Right?
Building an Instagram-Like App with Parse and Swift
Parse, the mobile app platform, has one particularly interesting product: Parse Core. One of its features allows app developers to store data in the cloud, without worrying about setting up servers and designing a REST API. Parse Core is also locally backed, like Core Data, which makes it a very good solution for online-offline back-ends. This tutorial explains how to create an app that’s backed by Parse. We’ll create an Instagram-like app.